After dealing with flailing global economies, numerous recalls and safety allegations and then the depleted inventory from the devastating earthquake and tsunami in Japan, Experian Automotive says that Toyota is finally back on top when it comes to consumer loyalty in the US. Toyota edged out General Motors and Ford Motor Company to grab this loyalty crown for the first time since the third quarter of 2009.

The metric for this title was determined by owners of a vehicle choosing from the same corporate automaker for their next vehicle purchase. For Toyota, this means that 47.3 percent of its current customers will purchase a Scion, Lexus or Toyota model as their next car compared to 46.2 percent for GM and 46 percent for Ford. Honda and Hyundai rounded out the top five in this list.

In terms of individual brand loyalty – when buyers come back to the same brand – Ford took the spot in this category with 44.7 percent of buyers returning to the Ford showroom for their next purchase, including six cars in the top 10 for overall loyalty. Ford Fusion customers are the most loyal with 59.9 percent buying another Ford, but Flex, Edge, Five Hundred, Escape and Fiesta are all in the top 10. Oddly enough, the top vehicle among brand loyalty was the Chevrolet Sonic (which has only been on the market for less than a year – we're not sure what to make of that...) with 60.3 percent of its buyers trading in for another Chevy product.

Other interesting facts to note from Experian Automotive's study include the median age of vehicles has increased from 9.8 years up to 10.8 years since 2008, indicating that people are keeping their cars for an extra year before trading them in. Besides Toyota, Chrysler was the only automaker listed as having increased its market share and vehicle purchases in the second quarter of this year.

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Experian Automotive: Toyota Motor Sales, USA, grabs top spot in corporate loyalty for first time since 2009

Ford maintains strong brand loyalty with four of five top performing models

Schaumburg, Ill., Oct. 10, 2012 -Toyota Motor Sales, USA, ranked highest in corporate loyalty in Q2 2012, according to the Experian Automotive Loyalty and Market Trend analysis. Toyota saw its corporate loyalty increase from 41.6 percent in Q2 2011 to 47.3 percent, enabling it to pass both General Motors and Ford Motor Co. This increase marks the first time Toyota has achieved the top spot in corporate loyalty since Q3 2009.

High-level findings from the analysis showcase the top trends in vehicle loyalty, manufacturer market share, vehicle age and new vehicle registrations.

"Toyota has done an outstanding job of regaining customer trust and getting repeat customers into showrooms," said Jeffrey Anderson, director of consulting and analytics for Experian Automotive. "To restore normal operations and regain customer trust in such a short time following the earthquake and tsunami is a truly remarkable comeback."

Experian Automotive defines corporate loyalty as measuring whether a new vehicle purchase matches a prior vehicle owned at the corporate level. This includes all brands under the corporate umbrella. Rounding out the top five in corporate loyalty are General Motors (46.2 percent), Ford Motor Co. (46.0 percent), Hyundai Motor Group (45.3 percent) and Honda Motor Company (43.1 percent).

In regards to Brand Loyalty, the Chevrolet Sonic was the top model, which means that 60.1 percent of Sonic owners who returned to the market bought another Chevrolet vehicle. Ford rounded out the top five in Brand Loyalty by model, with the Ford Fusion (59.9 percent), Ford Flex (55.0 percent), Ford Edge (54.0 percent) and Ford Five Hundred (52.0 percent) owners being the most loyal to the brand.

In other highlights:

• Total vehicle purchases were up by more than 370,000 units, going from 3.2 million registrations in Q2 2011 to 3.6 million in Q2 2012. This metric has been steadily increasing since the economic downturn, when vehicle purchases dropped to 2.5 million in Q2 2009.
• Toyota posted the largest unit sales gain with 145,000 additional registrations, followed by Chrysler with more than 83,000 new registrations.
• Toyota had the biggest market share gain in Q2 with 2.8 percent.
• GM had the steepest Q2 decline in market share at -1.5 percent.
• The average age of vehicle has increased from 10.6 years in Q2 2011 to 10.8 years in Q2 2012.


An infographic representing key findings from this analysis also is available online. Please visit www.ExperianAutomotive.com.

About Experian Automotive
Experian Automotive provides information services and market intelligence that enables results-driven professionals to gain the fullest possible understanding of the market, the vehicles and the people who buy them. Its North American Vehicle DatabaseSM houses data on nearly 700 million vehicles and, when combined with Experian's credit, consumer and business information, provides an integrated perspective into the automotive marketplace. Experian Automotive's AutoCheck® vehicle history reports provide dealers and consumers with in-depth information, allowing them to confidently understand, compare and select the right vehicles. For more information on Experian Automotive and its suite of services, visit our Website at www.ExperianAutomotive.com.

About Experian
Experian® is the leading global information services company, providing data and analytical tools to clients around the world. The Group helps businesses to manage credit risk, prevent fraud, target marketing offers and automate decision making. Experian also helps individuals to check their credit report and credit score, and protect against identity theft.

Experian plc is listed on the London Stock Exchange (EXPN) and is a constituent of the FTSE 100 index. Total revenue for the year ended 31 March 2012 was US$4.5 billion. Experian employs approximately 17,000 people in 44 countries and has its corporate headquarters in Dublin, Ireland, with operational headquarters in Nottingham, UK; California, US; and São Paulo, Brazil.

For more information, visit www.experianplc.com.